Live from Indy: Tuesday evening update
UPDATE, 12:11 AM: Despite what's being reported elsewhere, word is that the Rays have not expressed any formal interest in RHP LaTroy Hawkins, much less set up a meeting with him. And as the Milton Bradley saga drags on, the Chicago Tribune counters the Sun-Times report of a mystery team by saying a Cubs source expected Bradley to go to "one of the teams" that had been rumored from day one - which would make it sound like the Rays could again be the focus.
UPDATE, 7:29: More reports saying it's not the Angels or the Mariners or the Jays. The Red Sox don't have room either, and the Yankees wouldn't make sense, so the field is narrowing. How about the Orioles?
UPDATE, 6:27: The Chicago Sun-Times now says it is a three-team deal (which still doesn't involve the Rays) and is 3/4 done and could be completed tonight.
DEVELOPING: If the Cubs are indeed close to trading OF Milton Bradley, as some are reporting, it's not to the Rays. The report says they are close with a "surprise" AL team. The Cubs, meanwhile, say nothing is imminent, and manager Lou Piniella said he doesn't think anything would happen until tomorrow anyway. If it is a "surprise" AL team, who would that be? Seattle, for Carlos Silva? (Word from their media is no, though Tim Brown of Yahoo! says they are talking.) Toronto? (No again). Kansas City? (No.) Baltimore?
Executive VP Andrew Friedman talked to more than a half-dozen teams today, but indicated again that nothing was imminent on either the free agent or trade front as the Rays pursue bullpen help. He did suggest that at this time a trade would be more likely to happen before a free agent signing, and that both agents and other teams are portraying the market as very strong.